Translation (English) by Twilight Translations - v1
Development: Programmer Notes (RedComet)
I blame my friend for this game. Back in high school, we were just two losers who spent our Saturday nights (until he went off and got a girlfriend, the bastard!) playing video games. We were also both DBZ fans and emulation savvy, so naturally we stumbled upon Dragonball Z: Hyper Dimension and began playing it and its painful excuse for a translation way more than we probably should have. We spent literally hours running the same matches over and over via zBattle. Sometimes I'd win, sometimes he'd win, but the important thing was that it was just FUN!
Like I said, we used the old English patch, which for its time was okay, I guess. Later on once I started learning about romhacking I took a look at the game, but my skills at the time weren't up to the task of hacking the game. The problem that hindered the previous effort is that nearly all of the graphics that needed to be translated were compressed. The font, the character names in battle and out, everything. Compressed. So yeah, I turned my attention to other projects that I had on my plate and just sort of forgot about Dragonball Z: Hyper Dimension altogether for a while.
Fast forward to late June 2008 when I had basically finished hacking Bare Knuckle 3 and was only waiting for the script to be edited and such. After BK3 and Live-A-Live, I wasn't exactly interested in jumping head first into my other projects due to the amount of work they would all need. I was burned out yet still wanted to work on *something*. I'm not even sure how I ended up deciding on Dragonball Z: Hyper Dimension. I think it started off with being bored and wondering if I could crack the compression, although I swear I had looked at it before.
So I tinkered with the game over the next few months and eventually got a VWF up and running in the story mode text. Now, I hadn't examined any of the other text in the game, but I had assumed that the menus would be as easy as the story mode text to add a VWF to. I was wrong. Of course, I didn't realize this before I announced a planned Halloween release. Once I began tackling the menus, I realized I was in hell. My "vacation" project turned into one of my most challenging to date. Not because anything was particularly difficult to hack, but because I had never dealt with variable text and making it work with a VWF before.
The next year or so until about late 2009 were plagued by bugs and lack of time to work and (often times) motivation to work on Dragonball Z: Hyper Dimension. I was also drunk a lot. Then things gradually got better and I started making more progress. Then things in my real life took a nose dive into the pavement and depression kept me from working. Eventually I managed to suck it up and start working on the game again and finish up the hacking.
All told, this has been a very interesting project for me personally. I've really grown as a person due to the events that occurred in my life since this project's inception. That's largely irrelevant to the patch, but I feel like making note of that for anyone who cares.
In the end, what you're left with is easily the best English patch that is conceivable for Hyper Dimension. Everyone involved has poured countless hours into this patch's development, and I hope that it shows through. At the very least, I hope you find this more enjoyable than the previous ALL-CAPS English patch.
Development: Translator Reflection (DarknessSavior)
I've always been a DBZ fan. Moreso when I was a kid, but even as I've grown older and realized the ridiculous things about it (drawn-out fights, heroes always having that last power-up to do to win the fight, etc), I still love the source material. Hell, I'm still waiting for Dragon Ball Kai episodes to come out, because it takes out many of the things I disliked about the original show.
Originally, I was called upon to be an editor for the project, since I was familiar with the source material enough to make the script sound like it came from the show. However, as I found myself reading the script, I also started checking out the Japanese original as well. Eventually, I started retranslating the lines from scratch, and was added as a translator for the project as well. Tom (of Persona 2: Innocent Sin fame, amongst others) had originally translated the script, but he did so very quickly, and the script I was editing (which even Tom himself admitted was full of errors) was only a first draft. However, Tom was hard to get in contact with, so I had been translating the script for months long before RC managed to track him down. After it was told to me that the script I was working with was a first draft, it made much more sense, and Tom happily handed the torch over to me.
The script itself is pretty heavy for a fighting game. And considering it was my first full translation, it gave me some trouble here and there. It took me quite a few months to translate it, and then repeatedly edit the script to make sense in English. Thankfully, translator friends I made in the community were always willing to explain weird grammar whenever I encountered it. For example, Goku speaks like a country bumpkin. I kid you not. I often found myself stumped at some of his lines. The end result was eventually that he speaks in a way that might sound a bit awkward if a normal person were to say it, but it fits Goku's character just right (Example: "I never thought it possible for Majin Buu to be this friggin' strong"). Out of all of the lines, I have to say that Vegeta and Cell's lines were the most fun to translate. Their characters have so much intensity in them. Gotenks was fun too, simply because his lines are usually pretty nonsensical and ridiculous (one line has him proclaiming that he is the "Reaper of Justice". I about died when I read that).
Probably the least fun part of this project was getting everything to fit on screen. As part of my editing job, I had to make sure each line did not take up more space than it had. RC wrote a program to help, and he edited it a few times to make it better suit some of the things I wanted it to do, but it was still a giant pain in the ass. Once I got used to it, it took less time, but it's a tedious process. There were some especially terrible strings where the animations take place during the script (like when Goku becomes a Super Saiyan before fighting Freeza). My translations would be five or six lines long, and I had to cut them down to four lines so it would fit on the screen.
Eventually, once all this was done, RC and I would nitpick about anything we didn't like. This would eventually turn randomly hilarious, as he would come up with something ridiculous, throw it in a screenshot and send it to me. That's where a lot of the blooper screenshots came from.
The game itself is really fun. I remember playing this when I was a teenager, back when the only translation that was available used a 16x16 all-caps font. It's still just as fun as it was then, but the translation and hacking work is far improved. And you know you've played a game too much when you know the AI patterns a little -too- well, or when you play test the game and find a bug in the original game code.
Anyway, I put a lot of work into this. I'm quite proud to have finished my first full game translation, and I hope you enjoy reading the script as much as I enjoyed writing it (and re-writing it, and re-writing it). :D
While testing, DarknessSavior stumbled upon a very interesting bug in the game. During the special battle with Gotenks in Story Mode, if you allow him to perform his desperation attack, Gotenks will stop moving. Upon further inspection, we determined that this is a bug in the game and NOT the patch. I repeat, this occurs in the unaltered Japanese game as well. So, kill Gotenks quickly and you should be golden.
All the text in the game has been translated. The story mode, versus mode, tournament, etc. are complete and in English. There are also VWFs up the wahzoo, so everything should look great.
There are currently no known bugs in the patch. Please see the notes section above for more information on the one known bug in the original game.
Dragonball Z: Hyper Dimension Translation Team
Translator & Editor
Testing and QA Team
Gideon Zhi danke
*Note: Tom's work does not appear in the patch, but is credited nonetheless. He translated the script within a period of 3 days, but there were a few problems with it and a communication breakdown facilitated a retranslation of the script. See Translator Reflection above for more.
Ordinarily there would be a list of a handful of special people who have supported the project in some fashion or another, but I think we covered everyone in the Credits section this time. We probably didn't. At any rate, all of you both named and unnamed who have helped or supported this project in some way: Thank you very much.
July 29th, 2010